Rangers GM expects Richards to rebound from 2013

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Brad Richards had a rough regular season and an outright terrible playoff run. He admitted that he “didn’t feel normal all season,” once it was over.

Considering the fact that he’s 33, some might wonder if he’s merely showing his age. New York Rangers GM Glen Sather opted against buying Richards out this summer, explaining to New York Newsday that he believes that the playmaker can turn things around in 2013-14.

“[Richards is] really good player,” Sather said. “I think he had an off-year, and we think he’ll be much better next year.”

Considering this decision, the Rangers must hope that new head coach Alain Vigneault and a more normal offseason program will do Richards and the rest of the team some good.

That doesn’t mean Richards won’t ever be bought out, however.

His $6.667 million cap hit extends through 2019-20, with 2013-14’s salary being $9 million. Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi are among the prominent Rangers whose contracts expire in the summer of 2014, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rangers use their second (and final) compliance buyout on Richards.

It looks like he’ll get a chance to redeem himself next season, whether he’s auditioning for the Rangers or one of 29 other NHL teams for 2014-15.